ABSENT MOTHERS, REBEL DAUGHTERS, AND MOTHERLANDS: THE POLITICS OF HOME
A key aspect of postcoloniality and works that deal with migration is the forever-present questioning of home and belonging. Migration frequently involves a negotiation between adapting to a place where policymaking often represses, oppresses, and/or colonizes the country migrants come from and often have left family behind. It may also involve returning to the motherland—a decision associated with the level of participation or belonging to the adopted country. Calling attention to the suffix “mother” appertaining to “native” land and its connotation to familial relations shows the intrinsic relationship between motherhood, familial bonds, and the construction of a hybrid identity. In the context of the diaspora and its feelings of absence, developing a sense of kinship might be the difference between establishing or not strong associations with the geographical space. This dissertation aims to unveil how migration affects mother-daughter affairs, highlighting how maintaining healthy mother-daughter relationships assists in constructing diasporic black identities. This process, experienced mainly by second-generational migrants and solo travelers, involves dislocations, displacement, and the acceptance of a transversal hybridity pivotal to empowerment. By discussing mother-daughter relationships in light of migration, this dissertation reveals how language, storytelling, and memory in contemporary post-colonial novels from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America perform double resistance and contribute to a new decolonized literary tradition.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- West Lafayette